CAR-T cell therapy has shown to be a viable treatment for mantle cell lymphoma after being studied at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The study showed that this treatment can have an impact on those who have been resistant to other therapies in the past. The specific CAR-T cell therapy that was evaluated was KTE-X19.
About Mantle Cell Lymphoma
Mantle cell lymphoma is a form of cancer, specifically a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is a B-cell lymphoma, and it develops from lymphocytes in the mantle zone of the lymph nodes. Doctors are unsure as to why the lymphocytes become cancerous, but they believe that it is a genetic mutation that leads to the release of the cyclin D1 protein. An excess of this protein leads to uncontrolled cell growth.
The early stages of this cancer tend to show no symptoms, but the first sign is the swelling of the lymph nodes. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, a lack of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fever, indigestion, heart burn, bloating, bowel issues, and pressure or pain in the lower back and legs. If the cancer travels to the brain or spinal cord, other symptoms may be present. These include confusion, irritability, changes in personality, headaches, poor balance, and dizziness.
In order to obtain a diagnosis, doctors will ask for patient and family history. They will also conduct a clinical exam, blood tests, biopsies of the lymph nodes, PET scans, CT scans, and colonoscopies. After a diagnosis is confirmed, treatment depends on the stage and location of the cancer. If a patient is asymptomatic and the cancer is growing slowly, doctors may opt to hold off on treatment and monitor the cancer. If not, treatment options include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and stem cell transplants.
About CAR-T Cell Therapy
In this therapy, the T cells are removed from a patient through a process called leukapheresis. They are then modified with CAR molecules that make the T cells better able to fight the cancerous cells before being infused back into the patient.
This study occurred in multiple centers across 20 sites, with participants all having relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma after receiving at least five prior therapies. Titled the ZUMA-2 trial, its second phase saw a favorable safety profile for KTE-X19.
Not only was the safety profile promising, but the results showed that this therapy can greatly help those with mantle cell lymphoma. 93% of participants responded to the CAR-T cell therapy, with 67% achieving a complete response.
There was an immediate response to treatment, and there was also a long-term response. After one year, 57% of participants were in complete remission. The progression-free survival rate was 61%, compared to an overall survival rate of 83%.
There were three main side effects reported: neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and cytokine release syndrome. All of these effects were managed by medical professionals. Despite these effects, the results of this study were overwhelmingly positive. CAR-T cell therapy has the potential to better the lives of those affected by mantle cell lymphoma.
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